WaPo Article on Union Capitol Hill Priorities

The Washington Post ran an article on Sunday covering union efforts on Capitol Hill. According to the article, NTEU and the other unions are trying to get improvements in pay for federal employees and fight back attacks on worker rights.

NTEU's national office notes that "increases in federal wages lag private sector raises . . . ." Based on the Employment Cost Index, NTEU's national office notes, "a measure that tracks private sector pay, average wages increased 8.3% from 2009 to 2013, and for 2014 alone the increase was 2.3%" for a total of 10.6%. Federal wages, by comparison, only increased 3% over that same period, pushing federal workers farther behind their private counterparts.

Union dues are optional, as you know. No one is forced to join a federal labor union, although there are many excellent reasons to do so. Certain members of Congress want to eliminate your ability to have your union dues withheld from your paycheck and instead make you send in a check to NTEU. (by the way, NTEU currently offers the ability to send in a check instead of having dues withheld from your paycheck). But the dues-withholding option is a tremendously convenient option for most federal employees and is chosen by the vast majority of our members.

Some members of Congress also want to change the way elections are held when determining whether a union represents employees. These members of Congress want to make unions obtain 50% vote of all employees at an agency, not just 50% of those who care enough to vote. Imagine if the President of the United States could only get elected if s/he had at least 50% vote of all registered voters rather than 50% of those who show up to the polls on election night. As you can imagine, we would never elect a president or a union. And that's what these members of Congress want. They want to take away your and other federal employee rights to have a union of your choice represent you.

So what can you do as a union member? You can tell your friends why you joined the union and ask them to join. Send them to this link where they can download the dues withholding form. The more members we have, the stronger the union. We have more ability to fight off these attacks on your pay and your rights.